JACK MONTAGUE READ

Born: 1921, Thetford, Suffolk.

Died: 21st/22nd January 1944; age: 22; Dannigkow, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany.

Residence: 33 – 35, St. Nicholas Street, Ipswich.

 

Rank: Pilot Officer/Pilot; Service Number: 16106.

Regiment: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, 207 Squadron.

 

Grave Reference:

5.B.30.

Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery,

Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf,

Berlin,

Germany.

 

Relatives Notified & Address: Son of Cecil James Read & Elsie Read, of Ipswich.

 

Father: Cecil James Henry Montague Read, born September 1895, Upper Boddington, Northamptonshire. A Newsagent.

Mother: Elsie Read (nee Brooks), born October 1897, Ipswich.

 

ENGLAND & WALES REGISTER 1939

Jack was living with his parents at their family home – 33 – 35, St. Nicholas Street, Ipswich.

Cecil, a Newsagent.

Elsie, unpaid Domestic Duties.

 

Probate to Cecil James Read – father, a Newsagent.

 

21st/22nd January 1944.

 

Aircraft: Lancaster I, Serial number: R5895, Code: EM-B. The aircraft took off at 20.11hrs from its base at Spilsby, Lincolnshire, visibility was excellent. The target for the 648 aircraft that night was Magdeburg, Saxony-Anhalt, on the Elbe River. As a division 22 Lancaster’s & 12 Mosquitoes bombed Berlin. But the German controllers were not fooled and sent their night fighters to intercept the bombers. The bodies of Jack Read and his crew were recovered from the wreckage and decently buried in coffins in a communal grave at Dannigkow Cemetery, Sachsen-Anhalt. There was no burial service, and no crosses were erected.

Crew:

Leslie Francis Abel; Sergeant/Flight Engineer; age 21; R.A.F.V.R.

Robert Walter Sharp; Flight Officer/Navigator; age 19; R.A.F.V.R.

Charles Travers; Flight Officer/Air Bomber; age 29; R.C.A.F.

Ronald Arthur Blake Boydon; Sergeant/Wireless Operator/Air Gunner; age 21; R.A.F.V.R.

Ronald Codling; Flight Sergeant/Air Gunner; age 21; R.A.F.V.R.

Eric Clark Clunas; Flight Sergeant/ Air Gunner; age 26; R.A.A.F.

 

The Missing Research & Enquiry Unit exhumed and identified all the crew members. They were later interred at Berlin War Cemetery.

The bodies of Jack, Leslie Abel, Ronald Boydon and Eric Clunas were identified by their identity discs. Charles Travers by his officers shirt with collar attached – usually a Canadian trait. Robert Sharp by his officers type shirt with detachable collar normally worn by RAF officers. Ronald Codling by his beret, full name and service number on the shirt collar. A 1 shilling piece was also found on Leslie Abel’s body, which was later return to his next of kin as personal effects.

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